Cintas Corp., the country’s larger supplier of uniforms, announced Thursday it will locate an industrial laundry in the Gadsden Airport Industrial Park.
The $8 million laundry will add 90 jobs to the 30 the company has at its location in East Gadsden, general manager Mark Hildebrant said. The East Gadsden facility will be consolidated into the new location.
He said the 58,000-square-foot laundry is expected to open in July and will have the capacity to clean 370,000 pounds of laundry a day.
The laundry will be the company’s fifth in the state.
Company headquarters are in Mason, Ohio. Cintas was established in 1929.
Other laundries are in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Tuscaloosa. Cintas also has a branch office in Montgomery.
While work has been under way on the 10.9-acre site for about three weeks, city and county officials participated Thursday afternoon in a ground-breaking ceremony as the announcement was made.
Hildebrant said the company is excited about the new facility and its future here and thanked local officials for their help.
The laundry will be fully automated and will serve a number of counties throughout the state.
The current Gadsden location serves about 1,600 accounts in Northeast Alabama.
In addition to uniforms, the company provides facilities services which include floor mats, dust mops, wet mops, linens and hygiene services.
Hildebrant said locating in Gadsden “made sense” because the company already has a facility here and the location is midway between Huntsville and Birmingham.
The city of Gadsden and the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority were influential in the decision. Mike McCain, executive director of the IDA, said Gadsden was chosen over other locations.
“They wanted us here, and that meant a lot,” Hildebrant said.
The company has had a facility in Gadsden for 10 years.
Wayne Hollar, president-elect of the IDA, told Hildebrant the agency “wasn’t through” with them yet. He said if the firm needed any help in the future to contact the IDA.
Hildebrant said the laundry, which will use about 1.5 million gallons of water a month, will have nine washers with a capacity of 450 pounds each and six dryers with a capacity of 400 pounds each.
It will operate two shifts. Hildebrant said hiring will begin in March and the laundry should reach full staffing by June. He said an open house is planned in August.
Positions at the facility will include sales representatives; service sales representatives, who exchange customers’ dirty uniforms for clean ones each week; production partners, who process and maintain customers’ uniforms at the plant as well as running and maintaining processing equipment; and administrative partners.
Gadsden Mayor Steve Means said he is excited about Cintas and the 120 jobs the facility represents. He thanked Hildebrant and Cintas for having faith in Gadsden.
He said he and the city council have pledged to stimulate the local economy through industrial, commercial and residential development and this was an example of that.
By Andy Powell
Times Staff Writer